Veteran Tree Sitter Gets Sidekick Outside Oakland City Hall

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Oakland City Hall. (CBS)

Oakland City Hall. (CBS)

DougSovern20100908_KCBS_0208r Doug Sovern
Doug began his career as a copy boy at the New York Times, and then...
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OAKLAND (KCBS)— There are now two Occupy Oakland protesters sitting in a sycamore tree outside Frank Ogawa Plaza.

A second man has joined Zachary Runningwolf, infamously known as the Berkeley Tree Sitter who once protested the clearing of a grove for a Cal sports training facility.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

His sidekick of sorts, a man who goes by just Robin, has climbed the tall sycamore with no low branches to join Runningwolf in solidarity of his two-week tree sit.

Runningwolf, who was tossed a microphone for the interview, claimed it’s going well, even going as far as to call the wet weather a blessing.

“We call this a cleansing in the native community,” he said.

The veteran East Bay tree sitter is appalled that authorities chased Occupy Oakland out of the plaza below.

“For the very first time, Oakland’s Commons were actually being used by the commons,” he quipped.

Meanwhile, Robin seemed to have his hands full since he’s helped Runningwolf expand the tree house to five different levels, made of pallets and tarps.

You might wonder how the activist duo spends their time.

“Just hanging out, talking, listening to music sometimes,” was Robin’s answer.

The pair have even become a tourist attraction of sorts.

John Overton of Sacramento came by to marvel at the treetop protest.

“They’ve got a lot of nerve— well, a lot of courage I guess would be a better word. I don’t think I could do that,” Overton said with a hint of astonishment.

For now, police are leaving them alone and Runningwolf said they’ll stay until the plaza is reopened to the Occupy encampment.

“We’re going to stay up here until the city starts cooperating with the residents of Oakland who elected them.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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